I Said Yes to Everything: A Memoir

By Lee Grant

Born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal in manhattan urban, actress Lee provide spent her adolescence amassing extra reviews than most folks have in an entire life: from pupil on the famed local Playhouse to member of the leg­endary Actors Studio; from celebrated Broadway big name to Vogue “It Girl.” At age twenty-four, she used to be nominated for an Academy Award for Detective Story, and a yr later chanced on herself married and a mom for the 1st time, her profession at the rise.

And then she misplaced it all.

Her identify landed at the Hollywood black­list, her deals for movie and tv roles floor to a halt, and her marriage fell apart.

Finding reserves of power she didn’t comprehend she had, furnish took motion opposed to anti-Communist witch hunts within the arts. She threw herself into paintings, accepting each theater or educating task that got here her manner. She met a guy ten years her junior and started a wild, liberat­ing fling that she by no means anticipated could final a life-time. And after twelve years of struggling with the blacklist, she used to be eventually exonerated. With cour­age and magnificence, provide rebuilt her lifestyles on her personal phrases: first cease, a starring function on Peyton Place, after which leads in Valley of the Dolls, In the warmth of the Night, and Shampoo, for which she received her first Oscar.

Set amid the hot York theater scene of the fifties and the star-studded events of Malibu within the seventies, I acknowledged definite to every thing evokes an international of political ardour and movie-star glamour. supply tells perpetually pleasant stories of costars and neighbors comparable to Warren Beatty, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, and Sidney Poitier, and writes with the verve and candor befitting this type of seductive and cherished megastar.

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Is it gonna damage? Are they gonna drill? I observed myself squirming within the dentist’s chair, mouth large open, black like a comic strip. “Ow! Ow! OOOOW! cease! ” Pulling the teeth, blood, spit, drilling, loud—all the loopy dentists shoving for an opportunity at my mouth. •   •   • i really wasn’t certain no matter if i used to be a member of the Communist celebration or now not. so far as my husband used to be involved i used to be a hapless bourgeois, unschooled in Marx, Lenin, or Hegel. He was once a author, an highbrow; I had my very own principles, and to him they have been simplistic, unideological. One afternoon, Arnie handed me within the lobby of our condominium. “I imagine it might be a good suggestion that you can sign up for the celebration. it's going to make a few of our acquaintances safer round you. ” I understood the reality of his common sense. “Okay,” I acknowledged on my strategy to the kitchen. by the point I became at the tap, i used to be a member of the occasion, given that Arnie to me was once God, his advice a truth. We went on our respective methods. I doubt my identify was once further to an legitimate record. i used to be by no means given a card announcing i used to be a member of the Communist celebration. yet I crossed an invisible line someplace among the lobby and the kitchen. i used to be one in every of them. I beloved it. So i used to be shocked whilst I met with Leonard Boudin to determine that extra steps needed to be taken to turn into an exact Communist celebration member, and that i wasn’t one, he acknowledged. i used to be being readied and ready for the home Un-American actions Committee, and the 5th modification was once my safety, Leonard informed me. My mind was once challenged. My feelings have been my best friend, a part of my gear as an actor, yet Leonard informed me emotions needs to be positioned away in a mystery drawer and forgotten. they might in basic terms get me in hassle. Leonard inspired on me strongly that if I replied any questions that concerned the previous, i may open myself as much as answering questions on the ideals of alternative humans, my neighbors, my husband. Leonard acknowledged, “Don’t interact in dialog; you’re no longer clever adequate to feel a catch. they're pros. That’s why I’m there. If you’re unsure, question me. I’ll be sitting correct subsequent to you. ” I understood that if I made a mistake, had a slip of the tongue, bought indignant or foolish, i may jeopardize myself, my relations, even visit penitentiary, because the Hollywood Ten had. I nonetheless don’t comprehend the 5th modification. “I refuse to reply to considering that it might are inclined to incriminate me. ” It labored, while a person invoked it, however it made no feel. This used to be Wonderland and the penalty used to be: you can't paintings ceaselessly IN movie OR television. yet i used to be already no longer operating endlessly. we all blacklisted actors understood that this was once for the remainder of our lives. This used to be what without end seemed like within the fifties. switch was once impossible; that the fifties could finally develop into the wild sixties not anyone of their correct brain might have ever believed. I wasn’t scared, i used to be curious; i'd see the monster in its lair. With Leonard Boudin to guard me and successful Broadway play, A gap within the Head, to come to. •   •   • Going to the committee used to be like being taken to the zoo by way of my dad while i used to be a bit lady.

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